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COURT REINSTATES ANOTHER SUSPENDED REP

By NBF News
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ANOTHER suspended member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Kayode Amusan, was on Tuesday in Abuja returned to the parliament by the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.

The court asked Amusan to go back and resume his legislative duties following its nullification of the indefinite suspension slammed on him on June 22 this year.

Delivering his judgment on Amusan's suit, Justice Adamu Bello held that the House has no power under any known law to suspend any member beyond 14 legislative days.

In the suit argued by Mr. Femi Falana on behalf of Amusan, the judge held that the action of the House was strange to law and was therefore null, void, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The court ordered the Speaker of the House, Mr. Dimeji Bankole and the Clerk not to prevent Amusan from assuming his seat in the House.

Besides acting outside its limitations on the suspension, Justice Bello held that the House acted in bad faith by not giving the lawmaker a fair hearing before sending him on unlawful indefinite suspension.

He upheld the submission that failure by the House to allow the lawmaker defend himself on the grievous allegations levelled against him was in breach of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

Justice Bello, however, admitted that the House has power under its standing order to punish any erring member but held that the punishment must be within the ambit of the law of the House itself.

The same court had on December 2 voided the suspension of five other members of the House led by Mr. Dino Melaye on the ground that the House failed to comply with its own law.

The House had on January 22 sent 11 lawmakers on indefinite suspension over their alleged roles in a physical fight in the House.

Reacting, Amusan described the verdict as a triumph of the rule of law and a confirmation that the tyranny of the majority was not necessarily the law.

He said he had been proved right on the position that the House was arrogating to itself excess powers not conferred on it by any law.